The Trinamool Congress got a shot in the arm as voting for the Rajya Sabha seats witnessed defections and cross-voting on Friday.

The fissures in the State Congress were evident once again and the divisions within the Left Front were out in the open.

Two MLAs of the Congress and three from the Left voted in line with the Trinamool Congress defying their leadership.

The developments ensured the victory of all the four Trinamool Congress candidates. The remaining seat went to the lone Left Front candidate.

While there have been no defections from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Trinamool has been successful in winning over one MLA from the Forward Bloc.

For the Trinamool Congress, that has not contested a Lok Sabha poll on its own strength , the success at the Rajya Sabha biennial elections has strengthened its claims that it can successfully take on both the Left Front and the Congress in the coming general elections.

The support to its Rajya Sabha nominee for one of the seats, from three legislators of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) from the Darjeeling hills is an indication that the Trinamool could get the GJM’s backing for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency.

Interestingly, the cross-voting going to the advantage of the Trinamool Congress was by legislators representing regions where the party does not have much of a support base.

Two of the three Left MLAs are from Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal that has a significant tribal population a large section of which for long supported the Left.


Spate of defections leaves voters confused March 23, 2014